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Eldritch Moon Spoilers: Limited Review for July 1


Welcome to the end of the first week of spoiler discussions for Eldritch Moon! Today we have two neat reprints, new Escalate and Emerge cards, and of course a new Planeswalker to talk about.

I'll be reviewing these cards from the standpoint of how well I expect them to perform in Limited. We can't rate the cards completely accurately without knowing the entire set, but we can evaluate the cards in an "average" limited format. You can find all the latest spoilers on the Eldritch Moon page. Please note that if I haven't yet reviewed a card, it's probably because the official spoiler for it has not been released yet.

Grading scale

A: This card will often be the best card in one's deck. I'd consider splashing it where possible. (Linvala, the Preserver, Tireless Tracker)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Baloth Null, Forgotten Creation)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Akoum Flameseeker, Moorland Drifter)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Dazzling Reflection, Merciless Resolve)
F: This card will have little or no impact on the game if I draw it or is strictly sideboard-material. If I cast this card, please stage an intervention for me. (Hedron Alignment, Harness the Storm)

White

Peace of Mind

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D-

If you play Peace of Mind, it will enable your Madness and Delirium spells, but it does so at a pretty heavy price. It costs an entire card to set up and provides no added bonus besides life gain. As we all know, life is the least important resource until you hit zero. I'd rather play Stern Constable than Peace of Mind and that was already a fringe card in Shadows over Innistrad.

Black

Collective Brutality

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Let's not get blinded by Collective Brutality's constructed potential. We need to call a spade for a spade: a mediocre version of Disfigure. You'll occasionally need to discard a card for some typical reason (Madness or Delirium) and pick an extra mode as a bonus, but you shouldn't expect to get value from the first or third modes of this card very often. When you Duress your opponent's Ever After or kill someone stuck at 2 life, it'll feel great, but the primary reason you should be playing this card is removal.

Distended Mindbender

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A

I love Distended Mindbender. It's completely and totally incredible. Casting it on turn four is going to be nigh unbeatable. You get a 5/5 to beat down with, and your opponent will often lose their two best cards in hand. In case that wasn't good enough, the discard is a "when you cast" trigger. That means your opponent can't use their Murder on this Insect in response. If they want to use a card before losing it, it has to be before Distended Mindbender resolves. In the "fail case" where you can't cast this until turn six or seven and only see an empty hand, you've still put yourself in a good position to win. 

Wailing Ghoul

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

It's nice to see Black get its own version of Screeching Skaab. Wailing Ghoul has reasonable stats and reasonable utility in graveyard sets such as this one, and I'll be happy to include in in most Black decks in this draft format.

Red

Stromkirk Occultist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

A three mana 3/2 that draws a card after drawing blood sounds pretty good. If you want a chance at a card, you'll often have to trade this Vampire Horror with a 2/2 or 2/1 creature, but Trample ensures that you still get your damage trigger anyways. If you can play this creature early such as on turn two with madness, and it can turn into a repeatable draw engine, and it can run away with the game.

Green

Emrakul's Evangel

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Emrakul's Evangel is a versatile card, but none of its individual effects are very powerful, and all of them require leaving Emrakul's Evangel untapped at all times while you're waiting to use the ability. Things you can try:

  • Wait for a removal spell, then sacrifice Emrakul's Evangel and the targeted creature to get a free 3/2
  • Upgrade a few of your smaller creatures to 3/2's
  • Fog one turn of attacks by declaring subpar blocks, then sacrificing all the would-be chump blockers

Since this ability isn't repeatable and 3/2 creatures aren't all that large, it's hard to abuse this ability. That said, Emrakul's Evangel will still generally get at least three mana worth of value which makes it an efficient card.

Prey Upon

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Prey Upon has always been a favorite card of mine, and I'm happy to see it being reprinted in Eldritch Moon. It's not perfect removal because you can't take down creatures larger than your own, but it's cheap at only one mana. It's also in Green, a color that almost never has access to creature removal.

Ulvenwald Captive

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Mana dorks at two mana are almost always good, even when their combat stats are subpar. Ulvenwald Captive makes up for being a lowly 1/2 Defender by becoming relevant in the late game when the mana production becomes less important.

The transform ability effectively costs six if you're willing to tap Ulvenwald Captive to flip it, and then you can start using your 4/6 Eldrazi on the following turn.

Multicolor

Tamiyo, Field Researcher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A

This format doesn't really reward splashing a third color, but luckily Tamiyo, Field Researcher provides sufficient reward all on her own. From any reasonable board position, her plus ability will either draw you a handful of cards or sufficiently discourage attacking Tamiyo. From a position of strength, her minus ability (used once or twice) can be sufficient to stop opposing blockers and close out a game. If you somehow manage to activate her ultimate, it will become very difficult for you to lose the game.

Conclusion

We've got two more weeks until the Prerelease, and I suggest you spend that time saving up your luck so you can open a Tamiyo. Please join me for more spoilers and more Limited reviews next Monday when the final official spoiler week begins. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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